tag : bright yellow-green apples: the tree of life

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Sunday, June 27, 2004

the tree of life

Whilest I'm particulalry struck by the potency of nature in late spring, there's still a great deal of vigor as I walk through the woods on my way. This isn't just to the eyes, most people will say that they find nature relaxing, that there's some kind of connect. I found this in my dissertation, people showed posative reactions to green plants in reduced stress and improved emotions. We seem to need nature, and in particular plants, for our wellbeing as well as for the utilitarian stuff.

And yet we're aparently so bent of it's destruction. Only this morning the news announced a new report by plantlife detailing the dramatic loss of many of our native species, even once common buttercups and poppys lost to our complacency. And we're all complicit, not just those directly concerned like the beleagered farmers and large food producers. The supposedly enlightened taming of nature, built on post-christian notions of modernity, rational order, and progreess is rapidly driving down a blind ally.

Christianity has it's own responsability, but we people of Christ seem to be strangely reluctent to embrace a shift in view in responce to the failings of what has prevailed for so long. It might take the witness of the current neo pagan revival to stimulate a comparable widespread popular theology of nature, to move on from domination to stewerdship. The idea of souls plucked from a doomed earth to an etheral heaven hasn't helped much either. But still, after talking to my housemate about the joys and frustrations of our two faiths, I'm hopeful that some reapproachment is possible. It's started with recycling and the like, a first step in practice. Yeah the divine liveth in creation, the transfiguration surely demonstrates the wonders of the incarnation. So it's about time we saw the face of Christ, the tangible expression of the transcendent ground of our being that is God, in the Ash tree as much as in our human neighbour. We owe it to the rest of creation as much as our fellow people on this little earth.

God in the woods and hills? The metaphorical tree of life allready around us? Is this idolatry? Maybe, but I'm willing to take that risk.

silver cirle
bbc religion and ethics pagan message board


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